Having a Name Does Not Fix It

addiction, calgary treatment centre, family healing, recovery

Having a name for something, especially a problem is beautiful. It just helps. It can steer to the correct treatment or solution. Or at least away from the wrong remedies or solutions.

But it does not fix the problem, fixing requires action.

I am an alcoholic. I drank alcoholically all the time. That is an excellent name for my condition. It helps to know the name of the problem, but it does not fix it. I have to have a spiritual awakening to fix it, and I can achieve that by doing the steps. The steps have one promise and one promise only. The result of these steps is a spiritual awakening. That will fix the alcoholic problem.

I suffer from Narcissistic Injuries all the time. That is an excellent name for my sensitive nature. Narcissistic Injury – a psychological term – taking personally utterly indifferent and objective events. I do that when my sense of self is fragile and when I depend on life going my way all the time. It helps to have a name, but that does not fix it. I have to do something to fix it.

Taking the steps fixes alcoholism. What fixes Narcissistic Injury? I have only found one solution to these injuries, and that is service. Service in AA, service in life, service at home, service with my children, service – a specific action that will benefit someone else. And that starts with a thought, thinking about the people around me, looking assiduously for something that would help them, make things easier for them, fill a need of theirs. To be thoughtful about someone other than me. That alone might solve the problem, but no, the action is necessary.

Like the Cub Scout helping the lady across the street, thinking about it will not be enough. I have to stop, go out of my way, offer assistance, listen carefully to make sure the old broad wants to cross the street, then extend my arm and help her with the traffic. Complex, but simple.

Doug M. offers service by cleaning sinks where ever he is. Hotels, coffee shops, locker rooms and his own bathrooms at home all benefit from his attention. Service. Chris helps a wheelchair-bound invalid with visits and errands. Service. David volunteers to open up a meeting. Service.

I buy flowers for my wife. Service, maybe, it could be self-interested thoughtfulness.

I have seen self-centred judgmentalism in myself and many of the fellows I work with over the years. It shows up in my inventories. It is a defect of character that manifests itself most strongly in Narcissistic Injuries. The only solution is service; at least that is the only solution I have found.


Andy Crooks


The Government of Alberta supports Recovery Oriented Systems of Care and Recovery-Oriented Communities of Care which include addiction treatment and post-treatment housing. Their goal is to create lasting Recovery in Alberta for individuals, families, and entire communities promoting the fact that Recovery is Real, Attainable, and Sustainable. All Albertans can experience the positive and healing effects of Recovery Capital. For more information please visit their website https://www.alberta.ca/addiction-mental-health.aspx

Mission Fit

Ron Jarrett, owner of Mission Fitness is what a committed and helpful community partner is all about. He trains the clients in the house weekly and believes that true strength and progress can only be made from a solid foundation.  That foundation includes alignment, mobility and stability, and must address any muscular imbalances, weaknesses and lack of connection.  Achieving this level means the body is able to progress safely without fear of injury. www.missionfit.ca

for more information about Fresh Start Recovery Centre or any of our programs.

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